Former Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet, three-time F1 world champion, apologized "wholeheartedly" to seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton, after calling him a "neguinho '".
"I sincerely apologize to all the people who have been hurt, including Lewis, who is an incredible driver," the 69-year-old Brazilian said in a statement, "but the translation circulating on social media is incorrect." .
In a video interview with Motorsports.com, on the occasion of the British Grand Prix 2021, the three-time world champion (1981, 1983, 1987) had defined Hamilton as "neguinho", a word that in the Portuguese spoken in Brazil, and in particular in the state of Rio de Janeiro, it is in common use and is also used among non-colored people.
"What I said was misinterpreted. I don't want to defend myself, but I want to clarify that the term used is a term that in the Portuguese-Brazilian language is synonymous with 'boy' and therefore is not offensive. to make references to the color of the skin, and I would never use that word in the sense in which I have been accused in some translations, "explained Piquet, widely criticized for the expression used by the International Automobile Federation and Formula 1.
Yesterday, referring to Piquet, a great supporter of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro whom he chauffeured on Independence Day, Hamilton (to whom Brazil granted honorary citizenship last year) wrote on Twitter: "These are more what words. These archaic mentalities must change and have no place in our sport. "